Thursday, January 18, 2024

Judgment of Non Pros Entered Against Plaintiff Due to Lengthy Lack of Docket Activity

In the case of Garcia v. PPL Electric Utilities, No. 2015-CV-6565 (C.P. Lacka. Co. Dec. 19, 2023 Nealon, J.), the court granted a Defendant’s Petition for the Entry of Judgment of Non Pros against a Plaintiff due to the Plaintiff’s failure to prosecute the case.

The court noted that there was eighty-seven (87) months of docket inactivity in this case. 

Also, during the prolonged time that there was no docket activity, one of the named Plaintiffs died without being deposed, the Defendants only employees with knowledge of the alleged event had retired, and a key non-party witness had allegedly lost all memory of the subject incident that occurred back in 2013.

Judge Terrence R. Nealon
Lackawanna County

After reviewing the case before him, Judge Terrence R. Nealon of the Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas applied the law related to request for the entry of a judgment non pros and found that the record established that the Plaintiffs had failed to exercise due diligence in litigating the case with reasonable promptitude, that no legitimate reason existed in ordinate delay, and that the Defendant had suffered a substantial diminution in its ability to defend the case due to the death of a party, the retirement of former employees who originally possessed relevant knowledge, and the loss of a memory by a crucial witness relative to events that occurred a decade ago.

As such, the Defendan's Petition for the Entry of a Judgment of Non Pros was granted.

Anyone wishing to review a copy of this decision may click this LINK.

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